The Friends have been very busy helping the Swampscott Library celebrate its 100th birthday! Along with the Library Trustees, we’ve planned a full year of open events for our patrons and Town of Swampscott residents.

So far, we’ve:

  • Welcomed Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Chairman Mary Ann Cluggish, and Swampscott Historical Society Vice-Chair Sylvia Belkin for a kickoff program, “Swampscott Public Library: Past, Present, and Future.” Program recording available here.
  • Tested our book smarts with Library Trivia Night
  • Hosted Author Anita Shreve
  • Held a Secret Gardeners plant sale
  • Led a walk through the historic Olmsted district and followed with discussion and tea service

And here’s what we’ve got coming up…we hope you can join us at these events!

July 18 – Jessica Shattuck, author of the New York Times best seller Women in the Castle, will speak at the library. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Glamour, Open City, and The Tampa Review among other publications. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Mother Jones, Wired, The Believer Magazine, and The Boston Globe. Her novel, The Women in the Castle is a New York Times Bestseller, and The Hazards of Good Breeding was a New York Times Notable Book, a Boston Globe best book of the year, and a finalist for the 2003 PEN/Winship Award.

July 20 – Local art teacher Anita Balliro will lead a program for children ages 6 & up on the Swampscott Beach Painters. The Beach Painters are a fascinating element of Swampscott history. Balliro will also lead the children in the creation of a beach mural to be hung in the library.

September 23 – Our birthday party! Join us on the lawn for food, music, and fun. And cake, of course!

October 14 – The coast of Boston’s North Shore, from Revere to Marblehead, was home to a remarkable school of American Marine Impressionists. The Lynn Beach Painters flourished as a group during the last two decades of the nineteenth century, a period which saw not only the rise of European influences, but also great growth in American art in its own right. Art Historian D. Roger Howlett will lead a presentation on the American Marine Impressionists and share details on the school’s cohesiveness and its significance and place it in the context of the period in American art, so strongly influenced by French Impressionism, plein-air painting and the modern Dutch school.

Late September/October – Watch history come alive with the fascinating dramatization of the true stories of the Salem Witch Hysteria. In this inspiring, interactive entertainment, audience members become the jury in the trial of Susannah Martin. They will have the opportunity to question the defendant and form their own opinion as to her guilt or innocence.  The Delvena Theatre Company cast will open up again to the audience after the performance for a lively discussion.

November 4-5 – Our Annual Book Sale

Plus, more to come!

The library has always held a special place in the hearts of our townspeople. Shortly after the town incorporated in 1852 a benefactor donated books and funds to start a subscription library in the original Town Hall. Then in the early 1900s Professor Elihu Thomson donated land and the Town built the library that we know today. The new building opened its doors on January 20 1917. It became a free public library that was open to all and it has remained a vibrant part of the community ever since.